The Promise (2 Sam 7:12-17)
12"When your days are fulfilled, and you lie with your fathers, then I shall raise up your seed after you, who shall come out from your bowels, and I shall establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for My Name, and I shall establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I shall be a father to him, and he shall be a son to Me. When he sins, then I will chasten him with a rod of men, and with strokes of the sons of men. 15But My mercy shall not be taken from him, as I took it from Shä@ûl, whom I put away from before you. 16And your house shall be established, and your kingdom before you forever. Your throne shall be established forever." 17According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so Näthän spoke to Däwid.
The Obstacle (Yirmeyähû (Jeremiah) 22:28-30)
28Is this man Käneyähû (Coniah) a despised, broken jar, or a vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they hurled, he and his seed, and are cast into the land which they do not know? 29O earth, earth, earth! Hear the Word of YHWH! 30So says YHWH, "Write this man childless, a man who will not prosper in his days. For not one from his seed will succeed, a man sitting on the throne of Däwid and ruling any more in Yehûdhäh."
YHWH promised Däwid a son of his loins would sit on the throne of the kingdom forever. The legal claim to the throne ran through Shelömöh’s line, and that line ran through Yekhänyähû ben->Yehöyäqîm, the last living king of Yehûdhäh, the same Käneyähû whose line YHWH debarred from the throne, as He decreed through Yirmeyähû. So, how could a son of Däwid legally sit on the throne without being descended from Käneyähû? YHWH @Élöhîm follows His own rules, and His pronouncement against Käneyähû presented a genuine legal obstacle to keeping His promise to Däwid. So, how did He fulfill His legal requirements while keeping His promise to Däwid that one of his blood would sit on the throne forever? The Claimant I believe Yeshûãø (Jesus) of Nazareth is who He claims to be -- the uniquely begotten Son of God, hamMäshîãch (the Messiah), the Son of Däwid who will sit on the throne forever, a high priest according to the order of Malkî-tsedheq (Melchizedek). I believe the Gospels truly record His life and the genealogy of His mother Miryäm (Mary) and His supposed father Yôuëph. It is in the genealogies of Yeshûãø as recorded by Matthew and Luke, where one finds the answer to this conundrum. The Solution, Part 1: The Blood Claim
Now Yeshûãø, making His appearance at about age thirty - being, as was supposed, a son of Yôsëph - was Himself descended of Heli, of Matthat . . . of Näthän, of Däwid . . . of Yehûdhäh . . . (Luke 3:23,31,33) [JM Cheney, The Life of Christ in Stereo], pp.18 (1)
In his Gospel, Luke records the genealogy of Yeshûãø, showing his descent from Heli of the tribe of Yehûdhäh. So, who was Heli? Heli was the father of Miryäm, Yeshûãø's mother. Thus, Yeshûãø was descended from him. Heli was descended from the collateral line of Näthän, a son of Däwid, who was a full brother of Shelömöh's (their mother was Bath->shevaø [1 Chronicles 3.5]). Not being descended from Shelömöh, Heli had no legal claim to the throne, but he did have a blood claim. He passed this blood claim on to his children, including his daughter Miryäm, who, in turn, passed it on to her sons, including her firstborn, Yeshûãø. So, Yeshûãø had a blood claim to the throne of Däwid through His mother Miryäm. Through her, He was descended from the seed of Däwid, from the bloodline of Däwid. However, He was hardly unique in that. After a thousand years, probably many families would have had a blood claim to the throne of Däwid, but only one line had the legal claim--the line of Shelömöh. The Solution, Part 2: The Legal Claim
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Son of Däwid, Son of @Avrähäm. . . And Yaøáqöv fathered Yôsëph, the husband of Miryäm, of whom (Greek pronoun 'es', clearly refers to Miryäm ) was born Yeshûãø, the One called Christ. (Matt 1:1,16)
Matthew records the genealogy of Yeshûãø as the Son of Däwid, hamMäshîãch, the One with a legal claim to the throne of Däwid. However, the last line of the genealogy clearly lists Yôsëph, the husband of Miryäm who bore Yeshûãø, and not Yeshûãø directly. It does not list Yôsëph as fathering Yeshûãø because, of course, he didn't. So, how then is this the genealogy of Yeshûãø if Yôsëph was not His birth father? It's the genealogy of Yeshûãø because He was the eldest acknowledged son of Yôsëph, even though He was not fathered by Yôsëph. Therefore, Yeshûãø legally inherited the claims of the eldest son, which in this case included Yôsëph's legal claim to the throne. But then again, after a thousand years, others probably also had a legal claim to the throne. But here is where Yeshûãø might differ from all the other legal claimants: did Yôsëph have a unique claim to the throne, in that he was the legal heir to the throne of Däwid, descended from father to son down through the generations? In Yôsëph's dream (Matthew 1), the angel addresses him as 'Yôsëph, son of Däwid.' At various times during His ministry, people called Yeshûãø, 'Son of Däwid,' using it as a title. Scholars interpret this usage as a Messianic title, the Son of Däwid, the Deliverer, or as a reference to any male descendant of Däwid with a claim to the throne. However, I wonder. Before Yeshûãø was born to be the Son of Däwid, was 'son of Däwid' also a title referring to the legal heir to the throne of Däwid, rather than simply to one born of the house of Däwid? If so, then Yôsëph was the legal heir to the throne of Däwid, descended from father to son down through the generations. But even so, he could not sit on the throne because he was descended from Yekhänyähû and thus debarred from that position. If this is the case, then Yôsëph passed on to Yeshûãø not merely a legal claim, but THE legal heirship to the throne of Däwid through the line of Shelömöh. None of the sons that Yôsëph and Miryäm had together could have sat on the throne because they were descended from Yekhänyähû through Yôsëph. Only Yeshûãø, not being physically descended from Yôsëph, was not debarred from legally claiming the position held by His legal father --a position to which He also had a blood claim through His mother Miryäm. Thus He was declared King of the Jews from His birth. It's also possible that all Yôsëph had was a simple legal claim to the throne because he was descended from the line of Shelömöh through Yekhänyähû (the same as possibly several others). However, all of the descendants of Yekhänyähû were debarred from the throne and none of their blood descendants could ever claim the throne of Däwid. So, either way, when Yôsëph passed on his legal claim to Yeshûãø as his eldest acknowledged son but not his blood son, and Yeshûãø had a blood claim through his mother Miryäm, Yeshûãø became the King of the Jews from His birth. Conclusion While I acknowledge the second possibility is a possibility, I personally think YHWH @Élöhîm kept His promise to Däwid by arranging for the legal heir to the throne of Däwid, Yôsëph, to marry Miryäm, the daughter of a collateral bloodline of Däwid (and one descended from a full brother of Shelömöh's). Miryäm's firstborn Son was thus declared 'King of the Jews' from the moment of His birth because He fulfilled both the legal claim (but bypassing the debarment) and the blood claim to the throne of Däwid.
FOOTNOTES (1) Cheney, Johnston M. The Life of Christ in Stereo. Portland, OR: Western Conservative Baptist Seminary. 1969, 275pp. Note 16a: This rendering departs from the traditional but inconsistent "Joseph, the son of Heli." Though never before proposed to our knowledge, this rendering is grammatically sound and clarifies the true intent of the passage. It only involves the addition of two commas in the Greek, (which had no punctuation in the original) and a proper recognition of the significance of the initial pronoun, which stand in the place of emphasis. Using English punctuation for modern clarity, the literal rendering would be: "Now Himself was Jesus, beginning at about age thirty--being a son, as was supposed, of Joseph--descended from Heli, son of Matthat, . . . " His point is that Jesus descended, not from Joseph but from Heli through Mary. That Luke intended this meaning is suggested by the arrangement in the two oldest extant authorities, where Heli, not Joseph, heads the single-column listing of Jesus' human forbears back to Adam. [This rendering was presented to and well received by the Evangelical Theological Society, as well as by other competent Greek scholars--Ed.] Return
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